Canada climbs ahead in IT report

Canada has climbed to the number six position of The World Economic Forum’s latest networked readiness study called the Global Information Technology Report 2002-2003. The report is an index of 82 world economies, and examines the use of information technology infrastructure.

Finland was ranked number one, followed by the United States, Singapore, Sweden, Iceland and Canada. In the same study conducted last year, Canada ranked 12th.

The report was broken down into three sections — the environment component, readiness component and the usage component index — and examined a wide variety of topics such as venture capital availability, the brain drain and firm level innovation.

Of all the categories, Canada found top honours in only one category — the waiting time for a telephone mainline.

Canada ranked second in the availability of broadband access, fourth in the number of secure Internet servers and eighth in both overall infrastructure quality and in the quality of local IT training programs.

But the news wasn’t all positive. For example, Canada ranked a disappointing 48th for businesses using e-commerce, 44th in the cost of business telephone subscriptions and a rather surprising 32nd in the number of mobile phones for every 1, 000 people.

According to the study, the U.S. continues to offer the best market environment for networked readiness, but it slipped to number two overall in the index because of its less competitive performance in terms of connectivity. Finland surpassed the U.S. based on its best performance with respect to its citizens’, business and government’s use of technology.

The United Kingdom, Denmark, Taiwan and Germany rounded out this year’s overall top ten.

The World Economic Forum is an independent organization, concerned with world affairs. Its report is online at